is dedicated ‘to Frederick Delius on his sixtieth birthday’. Delius gave Warlock much encouragement when he was making his first attempts at composition, and in return Warlock made many arrangements of Delius’s music and helped to organize concerts of his work. It is natural that a work with such a dedication should show many influences from the older composer. However, there are many passages that are pure Warlock, particularly a rocking figure on lower strings very similar to the opening string passage in The Curlew
. Both works were composed between 1920 and 1922 at Cefn Bryntalch, the family home in Wales. Though on first hearing the Serenade
may seem as vague as one of Delius’s rhapsodies, further hearings show it to be clearly organized. There are some four sections of related but distinct melodic material, the fourth being the rocking figure mentioned above. After a brief climax combining some of this material there is a varied recapitulation, ending with a brief coda.
from notes by Michael Pilkington © 1997